5. Russell Wilson blockbuster trade
- QB Russell Wilson
- 2022 4th-round pick (DL Eyioma Uwazurike)
- 2022 1st-round pick (OT Charles Cross)
- 2023 1st-round pick (CB Devon Witherspoon)
- 2022 2nd-round pick (EDGE Boye Mafe)
- 2023 2nd-round pick (EDGE Derick Hall)
- 2022 5th-round pick (traded)
- QB Drew Lock
- TE Noah Fant
- DL Shelby Harris
We just haven't really ever seen a quarterback trade like this before. Even another trade the Denver Broncos have been part of in the past -- the Jay Cutler trade -- pales in comparison. This is one of the biggest trades in NFL history with so many draft picks changing hands from Denver to Seattle, not to mention some players who were supposed to be key to the Denver Broncos' rebuild, once upon a time.
The Broncos definitely missed having those picks in the top two rounds of the last two NFL Draft classes, that's for sure. They didn't expect they would be in contention for the top overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft for as long as they were, but the Seahawks ended up getting top-10 picks in the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft and top-five picks in the first two rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. That's a haul.
At this point in time, you may be wondering how this can be considered in the top five of recent major trades the Broncos have made, and the justification for that is rather simple. While the results haven't been great (yet), it's clear that Russell Wilson has turned the proverbial corner and I also think this trade involved a good process. I don't fault George Paton for taking a big swing at QB. We all wanted it.
Now, pairing it with the hiring of Nathaniel Hackett and giving Russ a massive extension? Well, those two things knock this move down a few rungs. But in terms of just this trade, I don't know that there's any price that would have been too high for most people in Broncos Country to get a legitimate QB in the building.